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Senior (65 years old or older) Discounts and Benefits

Updated May 2024

CITY OF CHICAGO

Senior Services
A variety of support services are available citywide to address the diverse needs and interests of older adults, from those who are active and healthy to those residing in long-term care facilities and seniors who are fragile and may be confined at home.

Chicagoans 60 and Over: Need Help at Home?

Chicago Seniors Connected Virtual Programming Schedule

Chicago Seniors Connected Brochure
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) provides programs and support to older adults aged 60 and older to keep them healthy, active and engaged. Please share the attached winter edition of the “Chicago Seniors Connected” program brochure with your constituents so they can learn about virtual and in-person senior program offerings. 

Some of the key events featured in the brochure include:

  • Brain Health Series 1-6 provides techniques to support healthy cognitive development and possibly reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Passport to the World Congregate Dining Program features culturally diverse meals to seniors, representing the rich cultural and ethnic diversity found across the city. Menus and the site listing are included in the Winter Brochure. To date, 10,000 meals have been provided through this program.
  • What’s in Your Closet? An outreach program to discuss services and strategies to help organize items and discard clutter within homes. This feeds into our virtual winter sessions of Buried In Treasures providing facilitated peer discussions on clearing and cleaning spaces to support the ability of seniors to age safely within their homes and communities.
  • Programmatic opportunities are available both virtually and in-person including fitness, recreational classes, and health and wellness sessions (e.g., dietitian presentations such as Healthy New Year, Healthy New You on dietary changes and improved health as well as pharmacist presentations on stroke awareness and controlling diabetes).

We also include key tips from the CDC on how to stay safe during the cold winter months.

Senior Citizen Sewer Service Charge Exemption & Rebate

The Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption entitles seniors aged 65 or over, residing in their own residence with separate metered water service or a separate city water assessment for that residential unit, to an exemption from payment of the sewer service charge for their residence. This exemption provides substantial savings to seniors.

Senior Citizens, who own and occupy their own residence, but who are not eligible for the Senior Citizen Sewer Charge Exemption due to property type, can apply for the Senior Citizen Sewer Rebate. This provides an annual $50 rebate in lieu of the exemption.

For eligibility and to apply, visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/fin/provdrs/utility_billing/svcs/apply-for-utility-charge-exemptions.html.

Shared Cost Sidewalk Program
The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program is an extremely popular voluntary program in which property owners share the cost of sidewalk repair with the City. This popular program consists of low cost, exceptional value, and ease of participation. The program’s cost per square foot charged to property owners is well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may qualify for a further discounted rate.

Applications are taken in early January on a first-come, first-served basis and only accepted through the City’s 311 system by calling 311 or through the City’s service request website 311.chicago.gov. The property owner’s contact information and the property address are required at the time of the request. Please call the office in December with an update as to when the program will open in January.

For more information, visit www.chicago.gov.

CITY CLERK

Senior Discount City Sticker (2024)

Per City Ordinance, residents that meet the requirements below are eligible to purchase one discounted City Sticker at $35.37 per year for a Passenger (P), Large Passenger (LP) or Motorbike (MB) and one discounted City Sticker at $148.83 per year for a Small Truck (ST). 

For requirements and restrictions, visit https://www.chicityclerk.com/stickers/chicago-city-vehicle-sticker-faq.

City Clerk Chicago Senior Guide

COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE

Senior Exemption
Most senior homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they are 65 years of age or older (born in 1958 or prior) and own and occupy their property as their principal place of residence. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office automatically renews it for you each year. A Senior Exemption provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property.

Low-Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Exemption
Senior homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they are over 65 years of age and have a total household annual income of $65,000 or less in the 2022 calendar year. A “Senior Freeze” Exemption provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value (EAV) of an eligible property. This does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill, only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. Tax rates may change and thus alter a tax bill. The automatic renewal of this exemption due to COVID-19 has ended. Applicants must apply annually. 

For eligibility requirements regarding the Senior Exemption and Low-Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Exemption, visit www.cookcountyassessor.com.

COOK COUNTY TREASURER’S OFFICE

Senior Citizen Garbage Fee Discount
No application is required. If a customer is currently receiving the Cook County Low-Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze, the Senior Garbage Fee Discount will be automatically applied to their utility bill.

For more information, visit www.chicago.gov.

Senior Citizen Tax Deferral
The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral program is a tax-relief program that works like a loan. It allows qualified seniors to defer a maximum of $7,500 per tax year (this includes 1st and 2nd installments) on their primary home. The loan from the State of Illinois is paid when the property is sold, or upon the death of the participant. The household income limit to participate in this program has increased to $65,000 or less. 

To apply, contact the Cook County Treasurer’s Office at 312.443.5100 or visit www.cookcountytreasurer.com.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Super Seniors
Super Seniors is a convenient and voluntary program for driver’s license renewal, which includes Rules of the Road classroom instruction, and a vision-screening exam. The Rules of the Road Review Course also includes a review of safe driving techniques and Illinois driving laws.

For more information, visit www.ilsos.gov.

Reduced Fee License Plate
The Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program, formerly the Circuit Breaker Program, allows the Secretary of State’s office to provide a reduced-fee license plate for senior citizens and persons with disabilities with specific qualifications such as age, residency and income.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGING

Benefits Access Program Benefits

  • Seniors Ride Free Transit Benefit
  • Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride
  • Secretary of State License Plate Discount

To be determined eligible for these benefits, you must submit a Benefit Access Application on the Internet. Paper applications are not available. Please note that the current processing time to determine the eligibility of your Benefits Access Application is approximately 12 weeks.

For more information and the online application, visit www2.illinois.gov.

Benefit Access Program flyer

Senior Health Insurance Program
The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP), which is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. Visitors will find information and resources about applying for Medicare, sites in their area that they can get assistance applying for Medicare and tools for SHIP sites around the State to utilize in serving Medicare beneficiaries.

For more information, visit www2.illinois.gov.